The Sea Shepherd ships Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker have successfully escorted the Japanese whaling fleet out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
After repeated orders from Sea Shepherd to desist their illegal activities and remove themselves from the Southern Ocean, the Nisshin Maru, Yushin Maru, Yushin Maru #2 and Shonan Maru #2 have crossed north of sixty degrees and continue to head North by Northwest.
"We did not actually expect them to follow our orders to quit the Whale Sanctuary but they have indeed exited and are now running outside the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary", Said Captain Paul Watson, "They have not killed a single whale since February 5th. We intend to turn four whaling free days into weeks."
At 0500 Hours on February 7th the Nisshin Maru was intercepted by the Steve Irwin at 64 Degrees 2 Minutes South and 80 Degrees 11 Minutes East. The whaling fleet then ran Northeast for 95 miles on a course of 060 Degrees and then changed course at 1600 Hours on February 7th to 260 Degrees began to run Northwest for 260 miles. The whaling fleet left the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary at 1830 Hours (Sydney Time) at 60 Degrees South and 77 Degrees East. (February 9th, 2010)
The Sea Shepherd ships Steve Irwin and Bob Barker continue to chase the Japanese whaling fleet.
"We intend to keep on their tail and to prevent any whaling operations for as long as our fuel reserves last and that should be for another few weeks at least," Said Bob Barker captain Chuck Swift.
The Sea Shepherd ships are with the entire whaling fleet except the Yushin Maru #3. That ship has not been seen since the collision with the Bob Barker on February 6th.